Image of  William Henry Hudson


Lifetime: 1841 - 1922 Passed: ≈ 102 years ago


Author , Ornithologist


United States

William Henry Hudson

William Henry Hudson known in Argentina as Guillermo Enrique Hudson  was an Anglo-Argentine author, naturalist and ornithologist.

Hudson was the son of Daniel Hudson and his wife Catherine (née Kemble), United States settlers of English and Irish origin. He was born and lived his first years in an small estancia called "25 Ombues" in what is now Ingeniero Allan, Florencio Varela, Argentina.

In 1846 the family established a pulpería further south, in the surroundings of Chascomús, not far from the lake of the same name. In this natural environment, Hudson spent his youth studying the local flora and fauna and observing both natural and human dramas on what was then a lawless frontier, while publishing his ornithological work in Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society initially in an English mingled with Spanish idioms. He had a special love for Patagonia.

Hudson emigrated to England in 1874, taking up residence at St Luke's Road in Bayswater, where he continued to live for most of his life; in 1876 he married his landlady, the former singer Emily Wingrave, in Kensington, London. She was his senior by some years (sources differ). He supported himself as a writer and journalist; the couple had no children. Hudson himself obtained British citizenship on 4 July 1900.

Hudson died in Kensington in 1922, and was buried in Broadwater and Worthing Cemetery, Worthing on 22 August 1922, next to his wife who had died early in 1921.

Hudson was a friend of the late-19th century English author George Gissing, whom he met in 1889. They corresponded up until the latter's death in 1903, occasionally exchanging their publications, discussing literary and scientific matters and commenting on their respective access to books and newspapers, a matter of supreme importance to Gissing.

After his wife became an invalid and moved, in 1911, to Worthing in Sussex, England, Hudson lived apart from his wife "for reasons of his own health", though it is clear from their abundant surviving correspondence that Hudson visited her frequently, and they remained on affectionate terms.

He produced a series of ornithological studies, including Argentine Ornithology and British Birds and later achieved fame with his books on the English countryside, including Hampshire Days  Afoot in England and A Shepherd's Life which helped foster the back-to-nature movement of the 1920s and 1930s and was set in Wiltshire.

Hudson's best-known novel is Green Mansions ,and his best-known non-fiction is Far Away and Long Ago which was made into a film.

In Argentina, Hudson is considered to belong to the national literature as Guillermo Enrique Hudson, the Spanish version of his name. A town in Berazategui Partido and several other public places and institutions are named after him. The town of Hudson in Buenos Aires Province is named for him.

Books by William Henry Hudson

The Famous Missions of California Cover image

The Famous Missions of California

Adventure History Travel
Play Drama 19th century Religious tradition Modern

A detailed account of the historical events that took place in California. Missions that were undertaken in different times have been described in detail. The origins of 21 California missions.

Far Away and Long Ago  Cover image

Far Away and Long Ago

Love Fantastique Autobiography Forest Life Birds

The author grew up in Argentina in the late 1800's and he describes a fantastical natural world, at least to those of us who grew up in the tame North American forests. The ostriches, the vaqueros, the cattle, the birds. As a boy he falls in love wit...

Idle Hours In A Library Cover image

Idle Hours In A Library

History Animal Beauty Nature Short Works Relationships Beliefs Experiences

"In the quiet of a library, William Henry Hudson shares his thoughts on a wide range of topics, from literature and nature to philosophy and religion." Idle Hours in a Library is a collection of essays by William Henry Hudson, an English naturalist...

The Purple Land Cover image

The Purple Land

Adventure Fiction Novel
Marriage Young Spirit Action Adventure Travel Life Memory

Escape to a land of untamed beauty and raw adventure, where danger lurks around every corner and passion burns as fiercely as the sun. Richard Lamb, an impetuous young Englishman, finds himself embroiled in a world far removed from his genteel upbri...

Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest Cover image

Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest

"Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest" is a narration of his life story by Abel, a Venezuelan, to a comrade. Once a wealthy young man, he meddled in politics to the extent of provoking a revolution... which failed.Escaping into the tropic...

Crystal Age Cover image

Crystal Age

A Crystal Age is a utopian novel written by W. H. Hudson, first published in 1887. The book has been called a "significant S-F milestone" and has been noted for its anticipation of the "modern ecological mysticism" that would evolve a century later....

Idle Days in Patagonia Cover image

Idle Days in Patagonia

Hudson traveled to Patagonia to study the birds, but shortly upon arrival accidentally shot himself in the knee, requiring a lengthy period of idleness to recover, hence the title of the book. It's not just a work of ornithology, but a personal memoi...

Shepherd's Life; Impressions Of The South Wiltshire Downs Cover image

Shepherd's Life; Impressions Of The South Wiltshire Downs

Hudson wrote this classic work in 1910; it is admiringly mentioned by many other writers. It focuses on the memories of a head shepherd, Caleb Bawcombe, so it is concerned with the period of mid to late nineteenth century rural Wiltshire, a county i...

Birds and Man Cover image

Birds and Man

During the later part of his life Hudson lived in southern England, where he was involved very early on with the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). Birds and Man is a slow moving work where Hudson discusses his love of birds, and the n...

Far Away and Long Ago - A History of My Early Life Cover image

Far Away and Long Ago - A History of My Early Life

A boy (between the ages of 4 and 12) discovers the natural world around him in his home in the Argentine Pampas and in Buenos Aires. Author Hudson is best known for Green Mansions but is considered by Argentine readers as one of their own, for his “...